Umbrella Quality Partnership
Bath & North East Somerset and First
Final Version 3/07/02
Forward in Partnership
The aim of this agreement for both Bath & North East Somerset
Council and First in this Quality Partnership is quality improvements
to bus services operating in the authority's area. The principal
objective shared by both parties is to achieve year on year growth
in bus passenger usage (passenger journeys).
Bath & North East Somerset is evolving and developing
transport policies to achieve a more sustainable future for the
area, balancing the needs of the community, the economy and the
environment. Bath & North East Somerset recognises the benefits
of bus travel in helping to combat the growth of car travel,
reduce the problems of congestion, pollution and road safety
while improving accessibility and social inclusion. The Bath
& North East Somerset Local Transport Plan (July 2000) and
subsequent Annual Progress Reports set out a policy framework
for achieving a greater role for public transport in the area.
Refer to sections 4.55 to 4.63 on pages 60 to 62 of the Bath
& North East Somerset Local Transport Plan.
First wish to provide improved services and play a positive
and innovative role within the transport market of the area.
This builds upon the extensive network of frequent commercial
services offered by First both across Bath and on Bath &
North east Somerset's inter urban corridors. Over recent years
significant investment has been made by First in customer care,
low floor easy access vehicles, introduction of route specific
publicity and an early move to ultra low sulphur diesel on all
However, a series of further measures is required to release
the potential for bus companies to deliver the maximum benefits
for all in terms or standards of service, accessibility and social
inclusion. The most effective measures will be those developed
within a commercial context where funding and investment will
deliver an ongoing improvement to services that will yield maximum
benefits for all.
In terms of the national transport policy context the Government's
Transport White Paper (1998), the Ten Year Plan (2000) and the
Transport Act 2000 provide a strategic direction for the development
of Bus Quality Partnerships. These along with various DfT guidance
documents set out a number of national public transport targets
which fall within the remit of local authorities and transport
operators to deliver, jointly.
Neither the bus operator nor the local authority can work
alone to achieve their common goal. Each party has recognised
the essential need to work together to achieve a better future
for bus travel in Bath & North East Somerset.
This partnership agreement sets out principles for both parties
to actively pursue to deliver real irnprovements in the bus passenger
journey experience. individual 'Showcase Bus Corridor Quality
Partnership Agreements' on selected corridors will be developed
jointly and will set out specific details; on improvements that
each party will commit to undertake.
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Providing high quality bus services that will be reliable
and environmentally friendly, and will offer existing and new
passengers a good level of service, with value for money, is
the essence of this agreement. This in turn will make a significant
contribution to the promotion of social inclusiveness for local
communities and residents. In terms of service reliability both
parties recognise the important link between operational reliability
and the need to provide attractive (i.e fast) journey times.
These principles are aimed at increasing bus use, particularly
modal shift from the private car.
Advances have already been made in Bath with substantial investment
in low floor accessible vehicles, innovative tickets and publicity,
introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel, bus priority, bus gates
and Park & Ride, but more can (and must) be done to continue
with progress in meeting Bath & North East Somerset and Central
Governments policies for sustainable transport and planning.
- First will provide customer care, additional low floor vehicles
with improved accessibility and passenger facilities, increase
the use of more efficient fuels and reduce emissions, develop
further effective route branded publicity, co-operate in the
provision of information and the timing of service registrations
to enhance ease of use and encourage regular bus use.
- Bath & North East Somerset will introduce further bus
priorities and traffic management measures to improve journey
times and reliability, and will improve waiting facilities and
access to these facilities.
- The Partnership will work together to promote and advertise
awareness of the benefits of bus travel and the costs of car
use and will present consistent, clear arguments in favour of
bus and public transport.
Duration and Management of the Partnership
This Umbrella Partnership Agreement commences from June 2002
and will continue until June 2006, with a Joint Annual Review
every year linked with the LTP Annual Progress Report, when there
will be an opportunity to make adjustments in accordance emerging
changes in priorities. This time frame co-ordinates with the
Bath & North East Somerset Local Transport Plan (and is the
same time frame for all English local authority Local Transport
Plans). From June 2005 joint discussions will take place on continuing
the Agreement into the future. This will occur in the context
of preparations for the next Local Transport Plan, where Bath
& North East Somerset will have an opportunity to review
its whole policy framework in relation to the development of
high quality public transport services.
The successful management of the Partnership will depend on
both parties committing to the spirit of the partnership. The
intention is to convene meetings on a quarterly basis in order
to maintain momentum and to discuss progress in relation to specific
projects or schemes, such as Showcase Bus Routes.
The main officer contacts are:
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| Bath & North East Sornerset Council
| James Willcock - Team Leader Public Transport
|| tel 01225 477604
| Martin Williams - Senior Transportation
|| tel 01225 477602
| Lee Stoney - Public Transport Officer
(Partnerships & Infrastructure)
|| tel 01225 477603
| Brian Noton - Managing Director
|| tel 01934 620122
| Russell Barrington-Crow - General Manger
|| tel 01225 466889
In consideration of difficulties or delays experienced from
time to time in delivering projects or initiatives which often
involve a consultation process and may also involve dealing with
a third party supplier, each party should make every effort to
keep its partner updated on progress. In respect of the Showcase
Bus Route Agreements it will be necessary to
formulate a more formal agreement regarding commitments and delivery
time-scales, in recognition of the large levels of investment
required by each party.
The principle targets of the Agreement are:
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- 1. To deliver a 2% year on year growth (representing an additional
110,000 passenger journeys pa) in bus passenger usage on the
First bus network in Bath & North East Somerset. This equates
to an 8% increase in bus passenger usage over the period of the
Partnership Agreement (a total additional 450,000 passenger journeys).
Note, this target relates to a similar DfT target included in
the Ten Year Plan.
- 2. To operate 40% of the First bus fleet (operating in Bath
& North East Somerset) with low floor fully accessible buses
by mid 2006. Note, this target relates to a similar DfT target
included in the ~Ten Year Plan.
- 3. Using reasonable endeavours achieve an average bus fieet
age profile (operating in
Bath & North East Somerset) of less than 8 years by mid 2003
and to continue to invest further to achieve an average bus fleet
age profile of less than 7 years by mid 2006. (Note, this target
relates to a similar DfT target included in the Ten Year Plan
and is subject to definition of the bus fieet operating in Bath
& North East Somerset)
- 4. To achieve a 10% journey time saving during peak hours
on all Showcase Bus Routes by mid 2006. [Note each Showcase Bus
Route Agreement will include specific journey time saving targets,
which may be in excess of 10% depending on the route circumstances].
- 5. To deliver service reliability, through the combination
of comprehensive bus priority measures and robust scheduling,
ensuring that 95% of all showcase bus route journeys fall within
a tolerance of -1 minute to +5 minutes of the published timetable.
- 6. To deliver an additional 40 new high quality bus shelters
provided in Bath & North East Somerset by mid 2006. [This
is over and above replacement of existing "life expired'
bus shelters] .
- 7. To achieve a reduction in the number of assaults on Bus
Staff reported per year of 25% by mid 2006.
A full list of 'Agreed Measurable Indicators' is included
in Appendix 1. These indicators will
provide a baseline, which will be used to identify progress on
meeting the above targets. Most of the indicators will be updated
on an annual basis and some will be updated on a quarterly basis.
This process will feed into the Joint Annual Review (referred
to above) and provide an opportunity to take any corrective actions
This partnership document is a statement of intention. Under
this 'umbrella' agreement, early priority projects have been
identified and are presented with their delivery programme. It
is intended that further projects will be developed along these
'umbrella' principles for subsequent delivery. The areas of responsibilities
of the Partners in the achievement of this goal are described
The Partners are committed to:
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| Partners 1
|| Improved information services through
stop information, call centres, information leaflets and real
time information at specified locations on targeted routes and
| Partners 2
|| Improved service reliability through matching
corridor and route infrastructure with improvements to scheduling
and traffic management and control enforcement, within an ongoing
regime of performance monitoring to identify and deal with problems.
| Partners 3
|| Improving the marketing of enhanced services
including the use of joint launches of projects, corridor branding
where appropriate and ongoing promotion of the services through
information, public relations and advertising.
| Partners 4
|| Development of schemes that can be shown
to be feasible and deliverable such that programmes and funding
can be identified and committed. Such development may be facilitated
through commissioning of Consultancy services for joint studies
on behalf of the Partnership or Partnership members.
| Partners 5
|| Prioritisation and delivery of schemes
that have been demonstrated as feasible and justified within
the policy and commercial framework agreed by the Partnership.
Bath & North East Somerset accepts
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|| Bus priority measures including the provision
of bus lanes, priority access points, traffic signal priorities,
bus stop design, development of further parking restrictions
and management of parking enforcement and the development of
traffic regulation orders as appropriate to deliver improvement
in journey times and service reliability. [Target average speeds
of (to be established - e.g. 15mph) should be sought as a guiding
|| lmprovements to roadside facilities including
stops, associated street furniture and surfaces, improved access
through pedestrian facility design and upgrades and security
through improved lighting and CCTV where appropriate.
|| Support the improvement of interchange
facilities at key locations on the public · transport
network including important stop locations, such as those in
the central area, where interchange demand is high or can be
promoted, to deliver network service enhancements and improvement
in image and personal secu rity.
|| Planned priority of road maintenance on
Quality Partnership routes to protect the service levels on these
key routes and co-ordination to minimise disruption. Advance
notice of planned maintenance and other major road works, together
with estimates of delay and temporary priority measures to ensure
adherence to existing schedules and minimise disruption to public
transport users. Development of the online 'Road Report':
|| Ensure that sufficient winter highway
maintenance, such as salting or gritting, is carried out on principal
bus routes as a highest priority to maintain the robustness of
schedules in such inclement weather.
|| Provision of targeted improved information
provision to include urban stopspecific information as well as
general marketing of public transport as appropriate.
|| Purchase, co-ordination and management
of off-vehicle aspects of any realtime information systems including
provision of bus-stop information systems, central control and
communication/systems equipment and ongoing operation and maintenance
of all off-vehicle equipment and operations.
|| Continue preparations on introducing Decriminalisation
of Parking Offences with the authority area; target introduction
date is January 2003. Development and management of appropriate
parking strategies recognising the links between on-street parking
and bus operations, and between parking supply and modal choice.
Parking policy and management (including enforcement strategies)
will be developed within the overall policy context of promoting
public transport within a sustainable development and economic
|| Co-ordination of public consultation,
including bus users, for both mandatory aspects such as Traffic
Regulation Orders and for less formal exercises for gathering
and disseminating information on the Partnership's plans for
route and/or service enhancements.
|| Applications for funding from third party
sources including Central Government, European Union, etc.
|| Commitment to the development of area-wide
standards covering such issues as hours of operation of bus priority
measures, kerb upstands, laybys and stop/shelter design.
||Direct Liaison with decriminalised parking units
to enforce bus lane operation and bus stop clearways; commitment
to investigation of emerging powers and technologies, including
the use of cameras to enforce against offences of "violation
of bus lanes use".
||Provision of appropriate contacts within Local
Authority for issues relating to road works, Green Travel initiatives,
vandalism and development of Local Transport Plan initiatives.
||Strategic development of the Concessionary Travel
Scheme, including the enhancement of the scheme to pemrit free
travel for B&NES pass holders aged
75 and over. Also to explore opportunities to integrate the scheme
neighbouring authority schemes.
||Monitoring the operational reliability of Showcase
Bus Routes through surveys on a periodic basis and disseminating
results with First.
|| Seek (subject to Member agreement) to
lever in additional financial resources by negotiating with central
government a local Public Service Agreement Target which is designed
to assist the delivery of this Quality Partnership.
First accept responsibility for:
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| First 1
|| Higher vehicle standards and further investment
in new or newer vehicles, aimed at improving the quality of the
services to passengers, including easy access low floor vehicles
with improved accessibility.
| First 2
|| Improved service frequencies where justified
by corridor improvements and potential demand
| First 3
|| Scheduling of services to maximise the
benefits of route priorities and deliver journey time and reliability
| First 4
|| Extension of operating times where justified
by potential demand
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| First 5
|| Consultation on route and service registration
changes to minimise disruption and protect marketing and information
provision investment, subject to material impact of third party
| First 6
|| Co-operation with the development of real
time passenger information and provision, management and maintenance
of on-vehicle and depot equipment and operations.
| First 7
|| Operation of an attractive bus station
with high quality passenger transport information and passenger
facilities, all being provided by the developers as part of the
proposed Southgate redevelopment.
| First 8
|| Provision of high quality attractive and
easy to use passenger information, network maps and other publicity
reflecting route branding and quality partnership status of routes.
Where quality partnership routes are involved the involvement
of the authority will be recognised internally and extemally
on vehicles and in publicity.
| First 9
|| Co-operation with Bath & North East
Somerset in the provision of passenger information, including
meeting obligations under Transport Act 2000.
| First 10
|| Development of ticketing and marketing
initiatives to maximise the benefits of the Partnership in terms
of bus travellers, including co-operation with through ticketing
and cross-operator ticketing systems promoted under the Partnership
| First 11
|| Provision of driver training to enhance
the levels of service and customer care on Quality Partnership
routes and corridors, including disability awareness and promotion
of higher driving standards. Protection of this training investment
through the use of dedicated driver teams for Quality Partnership
| First 12
|| Provision of service monitoring information
to allow the ongoing management of the Quality Partnership schemes
and development of mitigation and enhancements to these schemes
as required (e.g. identification of delay hotspots and levels
of service failure). Where services are monitored, First will
ensure that mechanisms are in place to identify the cause of
such problems so they can be addressed.
| First 13
|| Provision of a passenger charter clearly
setting out the standards and conditions that passengers can
expect from Quality Partnership services and how to pursue queries
or problems as they arise.
| First 14
|| Participation in any public consultation
exercises as deemed appropriate and agreed by the partners.
| First 15
|| First will offer appropriate partnership
support for third party funding from souFces including Central
Government, European Union, etc.
| First 16
|| Co-operation on the development of the
Concessionary Travel Scheme, including the enhancement of the
scheme to permit free travel for pass holders aged 75 and over
(subject to negotiations on fare reimbursement).
Early Projects and Commitments
Bath & North East Somerset Council's commitment to public
transport is demonstrated by its financial investment both past
During 2001/02/03 the Council invested over f500,000 in implementing
and monitoring bus priority measures. A decision on the future
of the Northgate Street priority Access Point is due to be made
in September 2002.
In 2000/01 the Council implemented a 700 metre bus lane on
London Road (A4 eastern corridor) with signal priorities, in
conjunction with a supermarket developer. Following the initial
experimental period this bus lane has now been made a permanent
24 hour bus lane scheme.
Monitoring the effects of these schemes in terms of journey
time savings and also in terms of broader socio-economic indicators
is regarded as a very important aspect and has provided the Council
with a substantial database for use in development of transportation
Other capital investment schemes implemented by the Council
include the development of the Council's Urban Traffic Management
& Control (UTMC) system, which has produced direct benefits
for bus services:
- - in 2001/02 the Council invested f230,000 in UTMC;
- - in 200U03 a sum of f430,000 has been allocated.
In addition to the above, the Council has a specific bus infrastructure
budget for bus stop and bus shelter improvements:
- - in 2001/02 expenditure on bus infrastructure totalled f100,000;
- - in 2002/03 the sum allocated is f~40,000.
Over the two year period the investment of approximately f1.5
million in capital schemes to enhance the operational environment
for bus services.
This is also further bolstered by major revenue funding commitments:
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- - in 2001/02 the Council spent f1,118,000 in bus subsidies
and concessionary travel schedules;
- - in 2002/03 the Council has a planned budget £1.246,000
for bus subsidy and concessionary travel (which is over and above
the separate Rural Bus Subsidy Grant from central government
of £204,000 pa).
In addition the Council is allocating further revenue expenditure
in 2002/03 specifically to enhance the concessionary travel scheme
and to provide free travel for local residents aged 75 and over.
First have invested heavily in vehicles operating within Bath
& North East Somerset.
- - In 200 1/02 First vehiclec apital expenditure came to £519,000
with the introduction of 8 low floor vehicles.
- - This is being augmented with expenditure on 19 low floor
vehicles across the authority area in 2002/3 worth £2,015,000.
The commitment of over £2.5 million over this two year
period demonstrates First's willingness to invest in Bath &
North East Somerset and work in partnership with the Council
to ensure the delivery of a whole spectrum of public transport
| on behalf of:Bath
& North East
|on behalf of: First
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